This parmesan aioli with roasted garlic is easy to make and a nice touch as a side sauce for different types of dishes like fries, steak, or seafood.
Homemade aioli is a really easy sauce to make that tastes way better than store-bought.
The only time-consuming part of it is roasting the garlic, but other than that it's very hands off besides squeezing the roasted garlic out and mixing it with the rest of the ingredients.
Ingredients for parmesan aioli
If you want to make this recipe from absolute scratch, you can make your own mayonnaise.
If you don't mind using store-bought mayo, then the recipe only calls for 5 ingredients (or 6 if you want a slightly thinner sauce).
Since this recipe only calls for a few ingredients, the quality and taste of the ingredients you use have a big impact on how good the aioli tastes. So if you can, choose high quality ingredients (especially the mayo and parmesan - more info below).
- Mayonnaise: Choose a high-quality brand that you like the taste of. The taste of the mayo will shape how the aioli tastes.
- Parmesan cheese (or Parmigiano Reggiano): The cheese you use will also impact the taste of the aioli. Parmesan cheese and Parmigiano are different. Parmesan is a term that can apply to a wide variety of cheeses in the broad category of a grated hard white cheese, while Parmigiano Reggiano is a legal designation of origin which means the product can only come from a specific region and be produced in a specific way. While parmesan can be just as high quality as Parmigiano, there is much more variation in quality since parmesan is not as strictly regulated.
- Whole unpeeled garlic bulb: A whole unpeeled bulb broken in half is ideal, but you can also make roasted garlic with just the cloves. The peel is really important because it insulates the cloves, helping them soften and caramelize. If using cloves, just follow the same instructions but use cloves instead of half a bulb.
- Black pepper: Fresh cracked is ideal as it adds a stronger pepper flavor and different textures.
- Olive oil: the olive oil doesn't have to be very high quality. In fact you don't really need to use olive oil - you can also use any vegetable oil. Most of the oil infuses into the garlic anyway so the delicate flavors of high quality olive oil won't make an impact.
- Heavy cream (optional): You may want to thin out the aioli a bit and can do so using heavy cream. If you don't have heavy cream, you can use more oil or milk. You could also use water in a pinch, but if you add too much it can make the aioli too thin and diluted.
Please see the recipe card for quantities.
The only real cooking involved in this recipe is roasting the garlic.
Drizzle with oil.
Wrap tightly in aluminum foil.
Roast the garlic in the foil at 200 C / 390 F for 35 minutes. Alternatively, to save some time you can roast individual cloves in a ramekin. Toss the cloves into a small oven-safe ramekin, cover with oil and put an aluminum foil cover on top. Roast at 250 C / 480 F for 20 minutes
Once the garlic is roasted it should be soft enough to just squeeze out of the peels.
Squeeze the cloves out of the peels and mash them with a fork until smooth.
Mix all ingredients until well combined.
Mash the peels with a fork to make sure they're won't be garlic chunks in the aioli. Then you just mix the garlic with the rest of the ingredients.
The photos above is before adding any heavy cream or liquid to thin out the consistency. The final photos are with 2 tablespoons of heavy cream added.
Homemade aioli will keep for about a week in an airtight container in the fridge.
Parmesan aioli with roasted garlic is really versatile. Obviously fries or roasted potatoes are an easy choice. Other good options are seafood, like the red pepper shrimp below, or a meat dish like prosciutto wrapped pork tenderloin.
Looking for other recipes? Try these:
Parmesan Aioli with Roasted Garlic
- 0.5 garlic bulb
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 0.5 cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- 0.5 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream optional
to roast the garlic
- Preheat oven to 200 C / 390 F
- Use a sharp knife to cut the very tops off the garlic cloves (the parts not attached together. This will make it easier to squeeze the garlic out after roasting.
- Take out a dinner plate sized piece of aluminum foil and double it on itself.
- Put the half garlic bulb in the foil and drizzle it with the olive oil.
- Fold up the foil tightly around the garlic bulb and roast in the oven for 35 minutes.
- take out of oven and leave to cool.
to make the aioli
- Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the peels and use a fork to mash it until fine.
- Mix the roasted garlic, mayo, parmesan, and black pepper until smooth and consistent.
- For a thinner consistency, add the heavy cream and mix until smooth. Add more (one tablespoon at a time) to thin it out even further.